Blood donations needed as Red Cross reports severe shortage |

Blood donations needed as Red Cross reports severe shortage

Jessica Miles
Updated: June 24, 2021 07:11 PM
Created: June 24, 2021 06:52 PM

It's a heartfelt plea from a mom.

"I'm asking you for a favor..." she shared in a social media post, saying her 22-year-old son's heart surgery was delayed this month due to a blood shortage.

"He was supposed to have a pulmonary valve replaced tomorrow morning at 6 a.m. but it was canceled due to a national blood shortage," she continued.

She's asking everyone to roll up their sleeves and give blood.

"I am asking everyone out there to find their local blood bank and consider donating blood," she pleads.

Dr. Lauren Anthony, with Allina Health blood banks, said COVID-19 and its protocols forced changes at blood donation centers over the past year, resulting in fewer donations.

Now, as many delayed surgeries are being scheduled, more blood is needed.

"The need for blood is constant, we can’t stockpile it for months down the road, we're using it up every day," Anthony said.

Blood donations typically drop during the summer when people are vacationing but this summer is different.

"Everyone is a little bit nervous about the summer and expects that through the end of the summer it’s going to be a challenge," she said.

Drawers of blood have filled up slightly over the past week, but there is still a critical need, particularly for Type O blood.

"O is always the greatest need, we need all types because our patients need all types, but O is the blood type that we can give in an emergency," Dr. Anthony said.

If you've never donated, Dr. Anthony said now is your opportunity to help families in need.

"We really are relying on people to donate more than before, just because of the fact that there’s a greater need right now," she said.

Allina has a number of blood donations set up starting next week and lasting through the summer.

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